Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US, Russia fight at United Nations over Syria chemical weapons attacks

US, Russia fight at United Nations over Syria chemical weapons attacks

On the diplomatic front, the United Nations Security Council failed to approve three draft resolutions on chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Similarly, a competing draft penned by Russian Federation which would have established the mechanism for one year as well but would have given the Security Council the responsibility to assign accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also not adopted.

As tensions escalate over attainable US -led military reprisals for the suspected assault, the U.N.'s strongest physique remained paralyzed, unable to beat its deep divisions which have confirmed in the middle of the seven years of battle in Syria.

Sweden is a non-permament member of the Security Council, which on Tuesday failed to agree on setting up an investigation of chemical weapons use in Syria, with Russian Federation and the United States failing to win support for their rival proposals.

While the United States and 11 other countries backed the resolution, Russian Federation vetoed it at a meeting of the 15-member council. Russian Federation vetoed a US-drafted resolution on setting up a panel to identify the perpetrators of toxic gas attacks after chemical weapons were allegedly used in the rebel-held town of Douma.

Last Saturday a chemical attack was reported to have taken place in Douma, where the rebel group Jaish al-Islam controls territory. The draft received 12 votes in favour, two against (Bolivia and Russia) and one abstention (China).

The visit that RIA Novosti and Tass reported on Wednesday comes amid growing expectation of US retaliation against Syria for a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.

Global chemical weapons experts will go Douma to investigate the suspected poison gas attack, their organization said on Tuesday, as the United States and other Western powers consider military action over the incident.

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But the judge who issued the warrant would have to show the records were connected to a possible crime. He then followed with a suggestive tweet that "the weather forecast for Monday looks very Stormy".

She said the United States "went the extra mile" to get Russian support for the resolution to ensure that a new investigative body would be impartial, independent and professional - provisions she said were not in the rival Russian resolution.

Both Trump and his defense secretary Jim Mattis abruptly canceled upcoming travel plans, as the USS Donald Cook - a guided-missile destroyer - moved to within striking range of Syria.

The showdown between the United States and Russian Federation at the United Nations came as the threat of Western military action in Syria loomed large.

"Whatever happens next has to abide by global law", Swedish UN Ambassador Olof Skoog told reporters on Wednesday, referring to U.S. plans for military action.

A joint U.N. -OPCW investigative team accused Syria of using chlorine gas in at least two attacks in 2014 and 2015 and the nerve agent sarin in an aerial attack on Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 that killed about 100 people and affected about 200 others.

That panel had found that the Syrian regime had dropped sarin on the village of Khan Sheikhun in April of previous year.

The White House said that, in a telephone call, Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May "agreed not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue".

"Our decision will not target allies of the regime or attack anyone but rather attack the regime's chemical capabilities", he said, insisting he did "not want an escalation".

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